I found a gem in the Garden Island Newspaper this evening. It is a letter from Theodore Pacheco to his parents, Francisco Pacheco and Alexandria de Caires. Theodore was stationed in Bourges, France in 1919, after the war ended.
The letter details what Theodore experienced in the small town the day the German’s stopped fighting. I got chills reading it. I have so few writigns from my relatives. To have the newspaper preserve this little piece of the Pacheco history is a wonderful find!
The letter reads as follows:
The following interesting letter was written to Mr. Frank Pacheco of Kilauea by his son, Pvt. Ted Pacheco, now in France:
Nov. 24th 1918,
This is your day, set aside by the A. E. F. as fathers’ day.
You of course already know that the war is over, a complete victory for the Allies. I am in a small town, but the day the Germans quit fighting there were more people in town than I thought would be. They went wild over here, both the men and women. It was good to see them happy once more. All stores and business houses closed. The people paraded up and down the streets for three days and nights. A fellow couldn’t walk on the main streets they were so crowded with people. I was on my way home to camp, I met a parade, or better, a singing, noisy mob, and I could not get by, so I went down the street and got noisy with the rest of them.
The people here think a lot of the Americans. They say we were the cause of bringing the war to such a sudden and successful end. It wont be long before we will be going home. Uncle Sam will get us home as soon as he can.
Winter is setting in and its getting pretty cold. Little puddles of water freeze over during the night. They say it gets very cold here in the middle of winter. We have fires burning night and day to keep warm. They have just issued us another blanket, making it four blankets now.
You will receive this about Christmas time, so I will close wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Your loving son,
(I do not know if the typist messed up or if perhaps he was called Fred. Who knows with my people!)
Garden Island Newspaper, “Letters from over there”, 14 Jan 1919, page 2, columns 3 and 4.
Genealogist and writer. Creator of the Portuguese Hawaiian Genealogy and Heritage website, yourislandroutes.com